Chapter 11: Discussions
Oh my freaking gods.
I liked Leo.
But I was with Hunter and I liked Hunter.
The small crowd had a few people who wanted autographs, so I signed them, but I wasn't really paying attention to them.
"This is not good...I can't like Leo! We're just friends and...and I'm with Hunter!" I mentally screamed at myself.
"Piper, now is not the time to freak out. You should be trying to pick a boy." A female voice that I recognized said in my mind.
"Mom! What is wrong with you? You're the goddess of love, do something! I can't like Leo because I'm with Hunter!"
I waited fo a response as I signed the last of the autographs. But I didn't get one.
"'Scuse me! I need to reach my daughter!" A voice said as she made her way through the crowd. Oh no...
"Is that...?" Reyna asked and I could only nod as Leo appeared at my side.
"'Scuse me!" And then Aphrodite appeared out of the crowd.
Aphrodite's brown hair was done in a movie star like hairstyle and I wasn't surprsed to see her in a short strapless red dress with matching heels. And of course, she had on some makeup but not much. She was the most beatiful person here and that's why every male that saw her couldn't keep their eyes off her...and some females watched her as well.
"Lady Aphrodite?" Leo said and Aphrodite shot him a smile.
"Hello to all three of you!" Aphrodite looked at each of us, but her eyes stopped on Reyna. "Congrats on the baby. Make sure to invite me to the baby shower."
"Of course, my lady." Reyna said, but she didn't bow or anything because it would look suspicious.
"Now," Aphrodite turned to me, smiling. "I will be taking my daughter from you for a bit. Come on Piper." Aphrodite took hold of my wrist and lead me through the crowd and out of the store.
"Mom!" I hissed as I was all but dragged. "You can't announce that I'm your daughter!"
"And why not? It's true, isn't it?" Mom glanced back at me and then kept going. I had no idea were we were going.
"Yes...you are the woman who gave birth to me, but that's not the point." I ganced around. "I've been famouse since I was eighteen and now I'm twenty-two. Four years. For a normal star, by now everyone-including the paparazzi-would know all about said world known star and actress. But that's the think mom, they don't know. They know everything about dad and his family, but they don't know about you or your side of the family."
"So they've been on the watch for a while now. They want to know where I spent my summers when I was no where to be seen, and they really want to know about my mom. They've created thousands of theories." We came to a stop in front of one of the beautiful fountains in the mall. Mom laughed and it sounded like he tinkling of bells in some way.
"I've read about those! There's that one magazine that thinks I'm one of the many famous women your father had dated. I am famous, but not in that way. And then there's the theory that I died when you were younger, possibly when I gave birth to you." Aphrodite lifted a hand clad in bangles to match her hoop earings, waving the thought away. "But let the mortals take pictures of us if they want."
"Sure, because you're the one who won't be bugged about it everytime the paparazzi shows up." I sat down on the edge of the fountain, already knowing I wouldn't get wet because of how large the bottom pool was and how far the edge was from the center. "But why did you want to talk?"
"Because of your little love triangle, of course!" She smiled brightly and took a seat next to me. "Hunter's a nice boy and Leo is too. But then again, Hunter is mortal and mortals only live for so long."
I frowned at her comment.
"Mom, Leo and I aren't immortal either. We live the same life span as mortals."
"And some mortals die younger than others do. But Piper, I need to ask something." Mom paused. "Do you love Hunter?"
I froze at the question, having not expected that. But the horrifying part was that I didn't have an answer. Did I love Hunter? Did I want to form a life with him?
"I-I..." I trailed off, unable to give an answer. Then it hit me.
"Why are you asking? You should know because you're the goddess of love!" I hissed. Mom just smiled at me.
"Exactly. I know the answer to the question. I wanted to know your answer. But it seems you can't answer. Let me ask this then: How do you honestly feel about Leo?"
I blinked. The erge to be honest slowly crept up inside me and I started to speak, the words coming about before I could even think about them.
"I like Leo. I like him more than a friend, but I don't know how much more I like him. Long Live is about me and him, and I kinda hope he figures it out." Aphrodite was nodding when I finished.
"Well, it seems we won't get to finish talking today." She said and I raised an eyebrow.
"Why-" Then I saw them, paparazzi and journalist.
"Piper, is it true this woman is your mother?" Someone asked and camera flashes went off.
Instantly I was smiling, making sure that if they got pictures they wouldn't look like something they could use to mantain a stupid lie.
"Yes, I am her mother." Aphrodite said as she smiled at the paparazzi.
"Ma'am, where have you been all this time?" One guy asked.
"Did you abandon your daughter and husband?" A woman asked.
"Why have we never seen or heard from you in the past?" I glanced at my mom, wondering what to do. I glanced around, making sure no one would suspect what I did next.
"Yes she's my mom. But there's something you guys need to be doing that's a bigger story than this, right?" I put my charm speaking influence on high, making sure they'd want to go. "There's that famous guy in the parking lot who was the star in that movie that came out this year, right?"
"Yeah, he's in the parking lot..." One journalist muttered before turning and leaving.
"I need to get a picture of him." A paparazzi man said and left. Soon all the others were hurrying to try an get a story and pictures from the 'famous guy' in the parking lot.
"Well that was-" I looked bac to where my mom was, only to find the space next to me empty. The only thing there was a note. Picking it up, I opened it and silently read it.
Hunter or Leo is what you need to decide.
But there may only be one option soon, so don't turn one down so quickly.
"Damn it." I muttered as I crumpled up the note and stood up, making sure to throw it in the trash. She's my mom! She's not suppoes to make things harder! She's suppose to make them easier!
I sighed. Now to find Leo and/or Reyna...
Turns out I didn't have to look far. I found Leo hidding behind an advertising board thing across the walkway from where Aphrodite and I had spoken. Alarm, horror, and worry shot through me at the same moment when I saw him.
Had he heard me? Had Leo heard what my mom said? Gods, don't let him have heard...
"Leo, I can see you behind that advertisement on toothpaste!" I called as I walked by.
"What? How'd you see me?" Leo asked and I shrugged.
"When you snuck a peak around the side, you moved too far and I saw you." Leo fully emerged and fell into step next to me. "Where's Reyna?"
"Uh..." Was Leo's brilliant answer. I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose.
"You left a pregnant woman alone, and she's a demigod, and she can attract monsters any second?"
"Uh...No?" I grabbed Leo's arm and started pulling him as I walked. "Where are we going?"
"To find Reyna!" I said as pulled him along. I went into the store we'd been in before Aphrodite had pulled me away. No Reyna.
"Food court?" Leo suggested and I let go of his arm.
"Good idea. Let's go." We changed direction and headed towards the foot court.
There were people scattered every where and it was hard to look for Reyna when people moved back and forth.
"There!" Leo said, pointing towards the Subway the mall had. Reyna was paying for her sub.
"Reyna!" I called and broke into a run. When she turned around to find a table, she spotted me and I waved at her.
"Why in Hades are you over here?" I asked and Reyna shrugged.
"Leo left me alone and didn't want to interrupt your audience with Aphrodite, and the baby was making me hungry, so I came here." Reyna said and took a seat at a table.
I also sat and Leo popped up behind an empty chair.
"It is lunch time and I'm starving!" Leo grumbled, making Reyna and I both laugh. I glanced at the McDonalds stand and stood.
"Sit down and I'll go get us something to eat." I said and walked off, headng for the McDonals stand, thinking of what to order Leo.
Lucky for me, the line wasn't very long and ten minutes later I was back at the table, taking a seat.
"What'd you get?" Leo asked and I handed him think of large fries and a big mac. "Awesome! Thanks!" Leo said and immediatly started scarfing down his food and I put his drink in front of him.
"Gods, men are pigs." Reyna said as she wrinkled her nose in distaste.
"I got you some fries." I sad as I handed Reyna a thing of medium fries. I'd gotten myself a simple cheese burger and medium fries.
I dipped my a fry in the small cup of ketchup and had it just past my lips when my cell rang. I quickly ate the fry and answered, putting my cell on speaker.
"What Joan?" I asked, having recognized the ring tone as the one I had for Joan.
"Piper! Do you know how many people adored your new songs? The record company wants you to make some new songs because they want to make a new album. Something about a mix of heart break song and songs of getting over heartbreak, including some of the ones you've made resently."
"Another album? Of only songs for the stages of heartbreak?"
"They think this one could go platinum. Maybe even multi-platinum. If we ge enough people to fall for the songs and make sure to make a good amount of advertising, we an get enough sold. Oh, and from what I hear, Tough is on it's way to be number one on the charts soon."
"Multi-platinum? Wow. The highest I've had is Platinum." I took a bite of my cheeseburger.
"Exactly. But, I was also thinking, we can make one album of...sixteen or seventeen songs that are the highest liked songs. Then, maybe, that mix of songs will draw attention and with that album we can get multi-platinum."
"Hmmm...But how would we do it? The picking the most liked songs, I mean." I asked and Joan was silent.
"I...I don't know yet."
"You could do random poll or something. Piper, you have that webste for you merchandise and news and suff, right?" I nodded. "Well, you can put the poll on there and ask people to submit the name of their favorite song by you."
I blinked, surprised by the idea.
"That...That's brilliant!" Joan cried. "Whoever you are that just suggested that, you're a smart man."
"Joan, that was Leo. Leo's a friend from the past." I said Joan took only a second of silence.
"The mysterious past no one knows anything about?"
"That same one."
"Leo, care to do an interview?" Joan said immediatly and I was surprised.
"Joan!" I hissed and motioned for Leo to not answer her. "Leo is not going to tell you about my past. The same way Jason never did, nor Annabeth, or Percy, or Hazel, or any of the others!"
"Sorry Piper, but a story like that could bring in a lot of interest."
"Joan, I don't need interest at the moment. Right now I'd like to eat my lunch in peace."
"Alright. I'll leaven you alone...for now. We'll talk about the new albums later." Joan hung up and I put my cell away.
"Who was that?" Leo asked.
"Joan, my agent. She's in charge of me at the record company. She makes the plans and I do the singing, sometimes making plans too." I shugged and ate another fry. "But she can be cool, especially since she's only a few years older than me."
"Cool. But why'd she want me to do an interview?"
"She does that sometimes. See, with most world wide famous artist, the press knows almost everything about their past right? Family, friends, schools, etc." Leo nodded. "But with me, they don't know anything about a lot of my past, like those summers we'd disappear and go to Camp. An the times I'd get in trouble for accidental charmspeaking, like when I barrowed that car and ended up at the same school as you.
"The magazines and everyone try to get info on my past, trying to get answers from current friends and stuff. And it irritates some of them that they don't have many stories on my past. Joan tried to control what info they get and distribute, so that's why she asked for the interview. To ask and then dispatch information before anyone else asks you and twists your words around."
"Oh..." Leo said and stole one of my fries, but I pretended not to notice.
"I'm just grateful Joan helps me make sure what I want private stays private. And now some press members got pictures of my mom...I'll need to work around that one..."
"The press got pictures of Aphrodite?" Reyna asked.
"Yup. They even asked some questions, but all they got was that she's my mother. Then I charm spoke them away. Honestly. they're so easy to charm speak..." I slapped Leo's hand away as he tried to steal another fry and handed him an order of medium sized fries I'd gotten in case we'd need extras.
"They only want a story, it's to be expected." Reyna said as she finished off her fries, moving to throw her trash away. "But where to next?"
"I was thinking we just walk around and look around unil we get bored." I said as I ate the last of my burger.
"That is a plan. Let's go." Reyna and I stood up. I moved to throw the trash away and leave the tray where it goes, then followed Reyna.
Leo fell into step with me and my thoughts traveled to what I'd discussed with my mom...
Did I love Hunter or not?